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Here’s a question, “Does your practice management system or billing system or HIS, RIS, whatever the appropriate system is, laboratory information systems have good reporting?” When we look at the data of how users review their reporting, the overwhelming majority of systems have on net negative overall reviews of their reporting.

Look at the mean

I will back up and define how we’re quantifying this. If amongst a population of reviews, most reviews reference reporting specifically, so we’re not talking about overall “Are the reviews positive or negative concerning an individual system?” So let’s say, for example, on a 1 to 5 scale, a system might average a 4 or 4.2, or 3.8, or 4.6. Those are entirely unrelated to why we are looking at the data. That data that we’re looking for is in the review.

What about pros and cons?

Do they reference as either a pro or a con the reporting for that system? Looking at natural language, do they consider that to be a positive or a negative attribute for that system? On average, almost every system we looked at has overall positive reviews, meaning 2.5 or greater. Some of the worse systems get 2.5, 2.7. Some of the better ones get 4.3, 4.4. Effectively, almost 100% have overall positive reviews. It’s difficult to find a system that doesn’t have on net positive overall average reviews.

A bevy of negative reviews

Yet, the overwhelming majority of systems have overall negative reviews for their reporting. About 67% of the systems have comprehensive negative average reviews for their reporting and analytics, and it varies. Sometimes, the sample size is relatively small, where the number of reviews is 2, 3, and more. In other cases, the sample size is quite large: there are dozens or even hundreds of reviews that reference specifically reporting, but it’s generally quite destructive.

It also seems as though it’s almost binary, where either, on the net, it’s mainly negative reviews, or it’s mostly positive reviews. You would expect there to be more even distribution. Yet, we don’t see that. When we see positive reviews, it is in the 67 to 100% range, where it’s not uncommon to see 70-80-90%, reviewing the reporting positively, and sometimes 100% for the smaller sample sizes of just a few, where they indicated something about the reporting.

Why are end-users so dissatisfied with reporting capabilities?

Absent that fewer reviews or systems with positive overall reviews on average, we have quite a few that are at 0%, where the only reviews for that reference reporting are negative. Or they are 38%, 40-43% positive, where again, 50-60% of the reviews are negative, or 65% of the reviews are negative. It’s fascinating.

The question is, “Why?” You would think that practice management systems and hospital information systems, and billing systems would have the capability to have good reporting. Still, it seems as though even the ones that have positive reviews overall seem to have a two-tiered system where it’s almost like a caste system. The basic system or the basic reporting is generally not that positive. Nonetheless, they have an advanced analytics package or some module that allows you to have better reporting and analytics. That’s what bumps them up into the better category.

We have figured out why

Our hypothesis as to why this is the case is twofold. One is that better systems have developed reporting almost after the fact. So they’ve recognized that this is important, particularly for larger practices, systems, that even data and analytics come into play and are pretty important ultimately in terms of the decision-making. Why? Well, because a CFO or somebody else will be involved in the decision-making process, you have to meet their needs. Years ago, when they developed these systems, they didn’t have that capability as they grew up. They added it on after the fact, and that’s why it’s a separate module.

For others, they may never have gotten to that stage where they upgraded it and put in that new capability. Therefore, the reporting is relatively poor. They have canned reporting, a limited number of available reports, very poor customization or the data doesn’t tie out, or they cannot customize, or other issues, data integrity problems, and more.

One more explanation for poor reviews

The other reason we think that’s the case is that most people look at and evaluate the efficacy and quality of a system. It includes a revenue cycle management module, so we’re talking about financial reporting, not clinical reporting. When they are evaluating those systems, they’re looking at capabilities like “How good is it at appealing denials? How good is it at posting payments? Does it work for another sort of lower-level blocking and tackling functions within a billing system rather than the high-level 30,000 foot? Is it capable of running analytics?”

Final thought

That’s our overall assessment. It’s fascinating to look at that data. Honestly, we’re surprised, and we’re not. I think we’re surprised by the way in which somebody who eats several double cheeseburgers a day every day suddenly gets a heart attack, and they’re amazed. We live in this, and we breathe in it, and we see problems constantly, and that’s part of the reason why we exist. Yet, we’re still surprised to see on the net how many systems overall have negative average reviews when it comes to reporting.